Nebraska Dem Just Gonna Filibuster Eeeeeeeeverything

There is very little I enjoy more than women insisting upon taking up space in this world — largely because it drives all of the worst people in it completely bananas. There is a special kind of indescribable rage that comes out of people when they are angry about a woman they believe is "seeking attention," which is of course the most evil, Jezebellian sin a lady can commit outside of having a painted face. In fact, the plot of the movie Jezebel hinged on an entire community of people being more scandalized by Bette Davis wearing a red dress to a party than the fact that they were literally in the midst of fighting a war to own people.

As such, I am thrilled and delighted by Nebraska state Senator Machaela Cavanaugh and her vow to annoy the absolute shit out of her Republican colleagues by filibustering every single goddamned bill they try to pass this year unless they withdraw a pair of bills aimed at banning abortion and gender-affirming health care for transgender youth.

“If this legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful; painful for everyone,” Cavanaugh said Thursday at the state capitol in Lincoln. “Because if you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body.”

“I have nothing, nothing but time. And I am going to use all of it," she said. "You cannot stop me. I will not be stopped. If LB574 gets an early floor debate and moves forward, it will be very painful for this body. And if people are like, ‘Is she threatening us?’ Let me be clear: Yes, I am threatening you."

This is not just showmanship — though it is unbelievably enjoyable and satisfying to watch — this is a show of strength, it is a show of "this is how much I believe in this, this is how important it is that these bills not get passed," it is a show of taking these issues seriously.

The previous day, when she filibustered a bill having to do with property taxes by talking about the differences between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Cavanaugh explicitly said “I want to annoy you. I want you to genuinely be frustrated as all get out, with me.”

Cavanaugh is one of only 17 Democrats in the state's unicameral legislature (there are 32 Republicans), but she is clearly going to do everything in her power to stop these bills from going through. The first, LB626, is another so-called "Heartbeat Bill" that would ban abortion after fetal pole electrical activity is detected. The second, LV574, nauseatingly titled the “Let Them Grow Act,” would make it illegal for health providers to provide gender-affirming care to trans patients under the age of 19.

It may not be possible for her to actually stop these bills, given the makeup of the state senate, but that is no reason to make it a pleasant experience for those who are trying to pass them. Make it painful, make it annoying, make it hurt.

Randy Newman - I Want You To Hurt Like I Do (Berlin 1994)


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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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